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  • small red spots in the roof of your mouth
  • Most of the time, strep will give you a sore throat, headache, stomachache, and fever. Typically strep will not give you a runny nose or cough, and occasionally it won't give you any specific symptoms.
    To be sure you have strep throat, your doctor may do one or two tests.

    First, he or she can do a rapid strep test to check for strep bacteria. The doctor takes a sample by rubbing a cotton swab over the back of your throat. With this test, the doctor may be able to find out in a few minutes if you have strep throat.

    If the first test doesn't prove anything, your doctor might do a longer test called a throat culture. Again, the doctor will take a sample using a cotton swab. This time, the sample will go on a special dish and left to sit for 2 nights. If you have strep throat, streptococci bacteria will usually grow in the dish within 1-2 days.

    How Can I Get Better?

    If you have strep throat, your doctor will give you an antibiotic (say: an-tye-bye-ah-tik), a medicine that kills bacteria. Usually the antibiotic used for strep throat is a form of penicillin (say: pen-ih-sil-in). To make sure the bacteria go away completely and don't spread to other parts of your body, you must finish all of the medicine. Your doctor will have you take the pills or liquid for 10 days.

    Your mom or dad may give you acetaminophen (say: uh-see-tuh-min-uh-fin) to get rid of aches, pains, and fever. You'll want to have soothing drinks, like tea and warm chicken soup. Frozen foods such as ice cream or popsicles can also help to ease the throat pain It's best to avoid spicy and acidic foods, such as orange juice, because they could hurt your tender throat.

    Your doctor will tell you to stay home from school until you have been taking the antibiotic for at least 24 hours. This way, you won't spread the bacteria to others.

    How Can I Prevent Strep Throat?

    Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

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